Sony Group's Initiatives to Connect Diverse Employees with Technology
The Sony Group aims to contribute to people, society and the planet through its diverse business activities in order to fulfill our Purpose to âfill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology," under our corporate direction of "getting closer to people." "Technology" and "People" are essential elements as the foundations of Sony's values creation to âfill the world with emotion,â and we consider these to be the two most important materialities as we implement a variety of initiatives to "connect people and technology" throughout the Group, encouraging interaction among diverse businesses and employees, and supporting the evolution of technology and the growth of our engineers.
One of these major initiatives is the Sony Technology Exchange Fair (STEF), a technology exchange event within the Sony Group initiated by one of our founders, Masaru Ibuka, in 1973. STEF is a technology exchange fair for all Sony Group employees, regardless of their job title, with the aim of creating new value through the exchange of ideas and exposure to a wide range of technologies developed by each business and R&D organization. The event is held every year, and 2022 will mark its 50th anniversary. At a typical STEF, more than 10,000 employees gather from all over the world during each STEF to view presentations on more than 100 technology themes, providing an opportunity for many engineers to present the results of their development to the rest of the company and to broaden their knowledge and hone their skills by interacting with other engineers and diverse employees. It also serves as a place for employees involved in the entertainment, electronics, and finance businesses to exchange knowledge on how technology is being used in their respective businesses, supporting the evolution of and collaboration between businesses based on technology. Incidentally, many of the technologies introduced at the Sony Technology Day held in December 2021, were exhibited at STEF in the past and have been refined within the company. Due to the impact of COVID-19, STEF was held as a hybrid format with online and some on-site exhibits in 2020 and 2021, so even though it was difficult to physically travel, global employees were able to actively interact with each other through this event.
There are also daily basis initiatives aimed at creating new value through exchanges and discussions that enable engineers to incorporating diverse perspectives. One such initiative is the "Technology Strategy Committee".
In the Technology Strategy Committees, engineers who have their expertise in the same technical field interact with each other beyond the business segments in which they are working, and work to strengthen their technical capabilities while sharing the latest technological information. Some committees include members from a wide range of organizations such as design, production and procurement and other departments. By gaining diverse perspectives outside of their area of expertise, engineers have been able to solve technical problems and create new products and services. In 2021, the Content Technology Strategy Committee was newly established with the participation of engineers from Game & Network Service, Pictures, and Music business, and it is expected to make the most of technology in the entertainment field as well. These committees also contribute to support the growth of young engineers and their path to their future goals by planning technical training and study sessions in cooperation with other committees.
Lastly, we would like to introduce Corporate Distinguished Engineers (Corporate DEs), who contribute to Sony's sustainable growth by leading the Group-wide efforts to connect people and technology.
Sony certifies certain engineers as "Corporate Distinguished Engineers," who are tasked with formulating and executing technology strategies while identifying signals of change and supporting the development of talent in order to ensure Sony's sustainable growth. Corporate DEs are top engineers who not only lead their respective areas of expertise within Sony Group, but are also active outside the company, and can be considered the "Sony technology representatives." They actively participate in academic conferences and standardization committees and bring the knowledge they gain through interaction with outside experts back to the company through the above-mentioned STEF and Technology Strategy Committee, as well as seminars. They also make proposals to top management from a technological perspective and support the execution of corporate strategies through technology. AI literacy training for employees in Japan (about 40,000 employees, including technical and clerical staff), which started in October 2021, was also introduced based on a proposal by Corporate DEs. As of February 2022, 43 Corporate DEs have been selected from a wide variety of areas of expertise. In the future, we plan to further improve the diversity of Corporate DEs in terms of nationality, business segment, and other areas.
Video content and interviews introducing the Corporate DE and Technology Strategy Committee introduced here are posted on the Sony Group's Technology website. We will continue to introduce Sony's technology through the voices of our engineers as needed, so please take a look.